Life After College: Makeover Revealed!

Today is a VERY exciting day. If you’re reading in a feed reader, pop on over to the blog to check out the fancy new digs!

I’ve had the same logo and tagline since 2005 when I first set-up this website — that’s SIX years! To say that I’ve outgrown it is an understatement (“No one said it was easy” — c’mon, I can do better than that). I feel like my blog and I (yes, we’re basically imaginary friends now) just moved into a mansion after living in a nice comfortable house that we had outgrown.

Thanks to the incredible Nina Cross (@crossnina), I’m thrilled to reveal a major site overhaul today, including:

  • Completely new design that matches my book’s branding. The tagline actually means something to me — it’s the impact I want to have on other people through my writing: to help people of all ages “Wake up. Live big! And love the journey.”
  • A landing page with four clear options so that people can “choose their own adventure” (I’ve gotten a lot of feedback that my current blog landing page can be overwhelming for newcomers)
  • Category landing pages that lay out a clear roadmap for each section so that people know where to start with my 4 years of archives
  • Simplified sidebar — one column instead of two, far fewer options to get distracted by. I also added in some “As seen in…” social proof icons
  • A Store + Freebies page to hawk some new wares — I’m trying to get creative about packaging my existing content and ideas to be helpful to you AND to pay the bills in post-Google life :)
  • I moved to the Thesis theme to help with SEO, customizability, and to clean up some of the clutter from my existing (free) theme. At first I resisted because I didn’t want my site to look like every other Thesis blog, but Nina did a great job personalizing it, and the benefits of using Thesis were too great to ignore.

This upgrade has been a long time coming…

There have been so many things that I’ve wanted to do here over the years, but never felt like I had the time, focus or energy while working full-time.

With Nina’s help, I’ve finally been able to implement my vision for the direction this site can go. I’ve been wanting a site design that is friendly, easy to navigate, inviting, and ridiculously useful. The category archives alone could provide tons of value to new visitors — if only they were easier to sift through — so I wanted to make sure they are well-organized and laid out in a way that focuses on the user (not just reverse chronological order).

I also FINALLY added a newsletter freebie (should have done this years ago). My templates are no longer available from my top navigation — I’m giving them away as part of a kick-butt “Organized Like a Ninja” toolkit in exchange for signing up for my Inside Scoop mailing list.

Curious about what the site used to look like? Life After College through the years…


It started with the HTML version I built in 2005 (notice the “we’ve” in the second paragraph? I didn’t want anyone to know it was just a 22-year-old behind the curtain…too funny!):

Screenshot of the LAC Website from 2005

Then I gave it a face-lift in 2008/2009 by upgrading to a free WordPress theme that I customized (here’s the very first blog post I wrote, when I had zero subscribers. Note to future bloggers: best to create an archive of posts FIRST, then announce to friends and family):

Life After College Screenshot - 2008-2011

Drumroll please….the new site!!

Life After College - New Site!

The brand new “choose your own adventure” landing page — (people clicking over from email/rss/social media will still go directly to the blog page):

New-life-after-college-landing-page

I’m beyond excited to keep building out this site as I continue to grow into my business, and as always, I welcome your feedback at any time!

For any of you looking to upgrade your own sites, Nina Cross is an absolute pleasure to work with. She was able to read my mind and translate my vague descriptions into something beautiful; she was responsive, took feedback incredibly well, and handled every step of the process professionally. Big huge thanks to Andrew Norcross for his WordPress ninjary too — to call him the hero of the blog community would be a massive understatement — he has come through for me countless times, and this launch was no exception. There aren’t enough words to thank him properly…

So wherever you are, let’s lift a virtual cupcake and toast Nina for doing such a fantastic job!

  • http://www.wegrowmedia.com Dan Blank

    Wahoo! Congratulations, your new home looks great!

  • http://lamiki.com/ Laura Kimball

    Way to go girl, you and your mansion look marvelous!

  • Erin Ventura

    Love it Jenny!!!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you Per!!!! So great to hear from you — love you!!

  • http://growingforward.net Scott Asai

    Congrats on the upgrade Jenny!

  • Heather R. Huhman

    LOVE the new look! Can’t wait for your next newsletter to get more of a “behind the scenes.” :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Heather!!! Will be sent out in 30 minutes — I shared even more “behind the scenes” thanks to your comment :) That reminder gave me a push to really share behind the curtain. Have a great week!

  • http://justicewordlaw.com Justice Wordlaw IV

    You have a really great design and look to your entire blog Jenny. 

  • http://twitter.com/laurasimms Laura Simms

    Congrats, Jenny! It’s a knock-out!

  • http://sweetcarolineblog.com Caroline

    Congrats! The site looks great!

  • http://www.smallhandsbigideas.com Grace Boyle

    Look so hot! Congrats – you deserve it :)

  • Anonymous

    VERY impressed, looks exactly the way it should!! Bravo! 

  • http://twitter.com/GregHertzke Greg Hertzke

    I like the new look, very clean and newcomers will be able to quickly find the many great things that you offer – especially when the “choose your own adventure landing page launches”. Congrats!

  • Kmccusker127

    Love you new site..It looks great!!!

  • Melissaheide

    Mmmm, cupcake. You had me at cupcake. Congrats on the rebranding! Looking forward to seeing where you go!

  • Meredyth Pederson

    Yay! How exciting, Jenny! Your new home looks fabulous!

  • http://hollygrande.com Holly Grande

    I love the new look. Congrats on the website makeover!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Holly! I really appreciate it :)

  • http://www.positivelypresent.com Positively Present

    This looks awesome! I love the new look!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you so much, Dani!!

  • http://www.tropicalmba.com Dan

    Great new design… love the look .

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Dan! Great to hear from you — Elisa and I were just talking about how awesome your Tropical MBA concept is the other day :)

  • http://andrewnorcross.com Norcross

    I’m really liking the new look! I wonder what genius did your URL fixing :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      LOL – an incredibly brilliant good looking charming one! ;-) I wrote this post before all your ninajery (new term) — you know you are my HERO andrew norcross!!! In fact adding a note right now at the end just for you :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      LOL – an incredibly brilliant good looking charming one! ;-) I wrote this post before all your ninajery (new term) — you know you are my HERO andrew norcross!!! In fact adding a note right now at the end just for you :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      LOL – an incredibly brilliant good looking charming one! ;-) I wrote this post before all your ninajery (new term) — you know you are my HERO andrew norcross!!! In fact adding a note right now at the end just for you :)

      • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

        Added :)

      • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

        Added :)

      • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

        Added :)

      • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

        Added :)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      LOL – an incredibly brilliant good looking charming one! ;-) I wrote this post before all your ninajery (new term) — you know you are my HERO andrew norcross!!! In fact adding a note right now at the end just for you :)

  • http://twitter.com/calebwojcik Caleb Wojcik

    Looks tons better and the layout/navigation is leagues ahead as well. Great job Nina and Jenny.

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks Caleb!! Really appreciate the kind words :)

  • http://superduperfantastic.com/ suki

    Hey Jenny, love the new look, especially love that it matches your book! :) 

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you so much!! And yes — we totally grabbed inspiration from the book — love that blue and the font! 

  • http://annieandersonblog.com Annie Anderson

    Love it, Jen! It looks great. Simple and clean.

    One of the few built on Thesis that I’ve seen lately which isn’t all discombobulated. ;-)

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much Annie!! Yes, I really wanted to make sure it didn’t look too “Thesis-y” since so many blogs are now on Thesis — wanted it to be original, and Nina did a great job :). Thanks for stopping by!

  • Ryan

    Looks great!  -JB Fanboy

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much Ryan!! You rock :)

  • http://marianlibrarian.com Marian Schembari

    AMAZING. Love love love. Really beautiful and I love the matching branding to the book – really suits you.

    Congrats!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Wooo – thanks girl!! Nina really did an outstanding job :)

  • Raphael Cousineau

    Wow, good job! The site is much more attractive and easy to navigate. The blue doens’t only match the branding of your books, but also perfectly matches your eyes!

    Have a nice day!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much Raphael!! I’m thrilled with it — *I* even feel like a new person! Thanks so much for reading and commenting — it means so much! Have a great day too :)

  • Tessa

    Jenny, the new site looks awesome. Keep up the great work!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thank you so much Tessa!! Always great to hear from you — big hugs!!

  • http://doniree.com/ doniree

    Looks amazing! 

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much girl! CANNOT wait to see you in a few short days :D xoxo!

  • Jennifer Howard

    Hi Jenny! The site looks fantastic! I thought it looked pretty spiffy before, but that’s just because I didn’t know any better. LAC is showing its true potential now! Congrats!

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Aw, thanks so much Jen!! Thrilled that you like the new site — I actually liked the old one too, but this one is light years better! Was nostalgic leaving the old one behind, but this feels great for the future of LAC. Have a wonderful rest of your week!

  • Abella Amanda

    Amandahttp://www.gradmeetsworld.org

  • http://BrandonCordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

    looks good Jenny, & flows w/ the book, nice. How are you?

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much Brandon!! Things with me are busy but exciting and tons of fun — I hope all’s well with you too. Have a great weekend!

      • http://BrandonCordoba.com Brandon Cordoba

        So glad to hear, you to.

        You know why I’ll never forgot you? Because that heartfelt care/thank you look in your eyes you gave me as I was leaving your book thing. That is soo powerful Jenny never lose that beautiful transparency in you eyes, smile & heart. :)

        • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

          Aw, thank you so much Brandon — wow! That feedback means so much to me….and meant the world that you came out to the book launch party!! Thanks so much for being such an awesome part of the LAC community — was great to meet you in person at SXSW :)

  • http://twitter.com/k_rads Kristin

    Looks great Jenny!! 

    • http://www.lifeaftercollege.org jennyblake

      Thanks so much Kristin!! Hope you’re having a great week :)

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